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ISA Study Abroad in London, England

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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My study abroad experience.

Studying abroad was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Studying abroad through ISA made my study abroad experience and my decision to study abroad ten times better than I could have ever imagined. I went to the most amazing University. I attended the University of Westminster. Almost all of the building locations for this University are in central London and one was on the outskirts of London. The University of Westminster made me feel at home and did not make me feel intimidated for being a foreign student and I was able to adapt to the ways of the University and how things worked both in general and academically very quickly. I had such fantastic professors and all of my courses were really interesting and I took courses that really suited me and my interests as well. Furthermore, the housing that I lived in was absolutely fantastic. I lived in a flat (apartment) in central London. I lived right next to or in the middle of such historical London landmarks; such as the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. They both were literally right outside my window. My residence building was incredibly safe and the people who worked in the building itself, could not have been nicer too. Lastly, the ISA staff in both America and London were phenomenal. They were so helpful and always there for you if you ever needed anything. Both staffs were very understanding as well. I had studied abroad this time last year and I left for London in January and we had a major snow storm the day before I left for London. Many flights were getting canceled and delayed; luckily my flight just got delayed. However, that meant that I was not going to arrive at the specific time that I was originally going to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London at. The ISA office in America had an emergency number to call and I was able to call them while I was at the airport to let them know and keep them informed on how my flight was doing in terms of being delayed and what time specifically that I was going to be landing in Heathrow Airport at. The ISA office in London was there to support you if you needed help or if you even felt home sick. You could talk to them about anything and everything and they would try and help you out the best that they could. You could also ask them about places to go, places to travel to, where to go and where not to go in your city or even other cities. A few of the staff members from the ISA London office showed all of us how to use the Tube in London and how to get our Oyster cards and such. This was extremely helpful because I was incredibly unfamiliar with how to use a public transportation system, especially since I am from a small town. Furthermore, ISA takes you on some absolutely amazing excursions; such as going to Stratford Upon Avon (where Shakespeare lived), Canterbury Cathedral (as in the Canterbury tales), Stonehenge and Bath, etc.) ISA also not only was there to help us out when we needed it but they also had a good instructor to student relationship. They were very good at helping us when we needed it but they also let you feel like adults and let us do our own thing, especially when we were on excursions. Studying abroad is the best thing that I ever did in my life thus far and is one of the best decisions that I ever made in my lifetime. Studying abroad allowed me to grow and change in ways that I never in a million years thought imaginable. I realized things about myself that I never knew that I had and discovered things about myself that were always there, I just never knew were there or how to bring out or use those qualities before, until I studied abroad. I wish that I could just study abroad again and again for the rest of my life. Studying abroad is the best thing that I have ever done, ever!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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Best experience of my life so far...

I loved my study abroad experience! Kingston was the perfect location as it was only a short train ride from central London and the town itself is very nice. I felt completely safe the whole time I was there (walking around town day and night). It has a ton of shops, restaurants, a movie theatre, a market, lots to do on the weekends, a great bus system, and I loved walking along the river to get to class every day. I was at the Penryhn Road campus and lived in halls at Seething Wells. I had my own room and bathroom, but shared a kitchen with 5 flatmates. Kingston University even has awesome free buses for students, which was useful when it rained or was too cold to walk to campus. The school is very diverse and multicultural. My classes consisted of a lecture and seminar 1-2x a week for each class and my only grade in each was a final essay or exam. This has pros and cons as I had to make sure I did a lot of work outside of class on my own and stay on track, but it also gives you a little more flexibility since you don't have homework and tests every week. I kept a blog during my whole experience if you'd like to check it out:
http://madilynmarie.tumblr.com/​ I am a biology major, but chose to get a lot of my core credits out of the way when I studied abroad so I could also enjoy my time instead of always worrying about my difficult science classes. My lecturers were all very helpful. There is a Student Union, which is like the clubs/events board. I got involved with the Student Volunteering Society and the Christian Union through that. I would suggest not sticking just with the American friends you'll make the first week through the program, but force yourself to detach from them and make some British friends and some from other cultures. Also, I would suggest not spending all your time/money in pubs and clubs...it gets very expensive fast and there is just so much more to see and do abroad. I traveled (cheaply) to Wales and went to Italy with a group of friends for Spring Break. Studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life so far.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

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You can't go wrong with ISA London.

The trips organized by ISA were definitely a highlight of my time abroad. We went to Scotland, Stonehenge, Bath, Canterbury, Dover, and so many more places. Every trip was memorable and so easy because I had to do ZERO planning. ISA planned everything and everything they planned is exactly what you'd want to see.

I specifically loved the double decker bus tour we took around London and the Ghost Bus Tour we took on Halloween. Both organized by ISA and both wonderful.

A friend of mine at Boise State was going to study abroad in London through ISA. She always knew she wanted to go to London, though I'm not sure how she specifically found ISA. I sat by her in one of my classes and she'd always talk about everything she was doing to prepare to study in London soon. She got me interested in going so I ended up going the semester after her and used the same program she used because she seemed to like it and that was I had someone to ask all my questions to!

When I went, you were either placed in dorms or apartments (I believe you could choose which you preferred). I lived in a dorm. I had my own room, five suite mates, two bathrooms, one GIANT kitchen. There are two (at least) dorm locations and both are in the heart of the city! You can't go wrong with either.

I knew people who lived in apartments (placed there by the program, not apartments you have to find and rent). Apartments were more modern than the dorms (but the dorms are by no means bad), most have a TV in them, however, you had to share a room-- usually with only one other person but I think I remember one case of three people to a room. Rooms were decently sized, though, so you weren't just crammed in there.

Also, anywhere you live will be close to a tube station which is completely necessary and completely awesome!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    10

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Pure Awesome.

You can't go wrong with ISA London. The staff in London is completely awesome. They plan the most amazing outings-- ranging from museum visits to weekend trips around the UK. The staff is friendly, helpful, and full of knowledge. They are always available-- even (especially) on a drop in basis-- to chat about anything. Whether you want tips on things to do in London or just someone to talk to because you're feeling a little homesick, they are always there for you.

Studying abroad is an absolutely incredible experience but studying abroad through ISA London will make the difference between a good experience and a great experience.

Academics:
I attended the University of Westminster. Classes are a bit different than in the USA. Grades generally consists of two assignments: Two papers. Occasionally you may have one paper and one test but generally it's just that: two papers. It can be scary because one paper (the last one) may be 75% of your total grade so you can't screw up! But also, there's nothing to be afraid of. Put forth some effort and you'll be fine. The nice thing about this type of academic culture is that you know at the beginning of the semester EXACTLY what your assignments will be and when you're not working on an assignment you have a lot of free time. That sounds a little obvious so let me reword that: When you decide to actually do the research and write your essay, you are busy. But you can go from start to finish in as little as a few days so all the other days you have free time-- no assignments due!

Good academics, by the way. The right amount of challenging to learn a few things but the right amount of easy so you can enjoy your time abroad and explore your city.

Living Situation:
When I went, you were either placed in dorms or apartments (I believe you could choose which you preferred). I lived in a dorm. I had my own room, five suite mates, two bathrooms, one GIANT kitchen. There are two (at least) dorm locations and both are in the heart of the city! You can't go wrong with either.

I knew people who lived in apartments (placed there by the program, not apartments you have to find and rent). Apartments were more modern than the dorms (but the dorms are by no means bad), most have a TV in them, however, you had to share a room-- usually with only one other person but I think I remember one case of three people to a room. Rooms were decently sized, though, so you weren't just crammed in there.

Cultural Immersion:
London has every culture imaginable! You see a million different types of people every single day, hear a million languages, see a million different styles. You can eat any type of food. London has everything.

Program Administration:
The folks at ISA London are the most incredible people you could ever meet. They put on such an amazing program and organize tons of wonderful trips. They are kind, caring, and always available to help you with any problems you may have, answer questions, or provide tips on fun things to see and do around the city.

You can't go wrong with ISA London. Trust me. It's the best decision you'll ever make.

Health and Safety:
It's a big city; be careful. Don't go places alone at night. Don't make eye contact with scary people at night. Or in the daytime. There were times I felt uncomfortable but never once was I attacked, pick pocketed, nothing. Like everyone always says, use common sense. Also, I have been out alone at night (I'm a female) because of classes getting out when it was dark and there are always so many people everywhere so you're really never alone.

Social Life:
I'm not the most social person so I'm not really equipped to give a rating on this. However, from talking with the people I studied abroad with, it's an A+.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    0

  • Social Life

    0

View detailed rating

Experience of a lifetime

Going to London this summer was the greatest month of my life, and using this program only made it even better. From the minute I signed up, ISA was very helpful and reliable, and made everything from applying to arrival and getting adjusted very easy. The living situation/location, school, and program reps were wonderful and allowed us to have the greatest experience possible and make the most of our time. Also, the excursions they provided were so much fun- everything was so organized and enjoyable we truly had such an amazing time. If I ever do another study abroad program I will definitely use ISA.

Living Situation:
I was in the University dorms and was SO pleased with the location and room. Two minute walk from the tube, I always felt super safe, and I had my own bedroom but could still spend as much time with my friends as I wanted. Perfect living situation!

Program Administration:
Maria and Tom who personally greeted us at the airport and came on the excursions with us were not only welcoming, but extremely helpful, friendly, and made us feel comfortable right from the first moment we arrived. All of us in this summer's program will miss them a lot!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Health and Safety

    0

  • Social Life

    0

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I spent the Fall 2008 semester studying at...

I spent the Fall 2008 semester studying at the University of Westminster in London. I also participated in a part-time internship arranged through the university. I experienced a great part of London and the UK, and ISA's excursions and our group made it a memorable experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

View detailed rating

A Life Changing Semester

Coming into college I knew I wanted to study Abroad and I was fortunate enough to find this program. ISA is awesome and super helpful from the start of the process through when you return to the U.S. They have a great staff in the U.S. that can answer questions quickly and help you pick the right program. The on site staff is also amazing and super helpful with anything. Overall this program was phenomenal, I would defenitly do it again and I am constantly looking for ways that I can get back abroad!